While catching up on a bit blog reading today, I noticed an exchange concerning routine vs. discipline. It reminded me of how much my husband depended on maintaining his daily routine to remind him of healthier days during his chemo/radiation treatment months. Each activity meant something, gave the day an outline to follow with broad headings, allowing the actual events and details of the day to provide variety. He said it gave him hope.
My own experience has shown me that the quality of everything we do depends on intention and attention, so routine will be as mindless and boring as we allow, just as discipline can become constricting if enforced robotically. Routine structures the activities, and we use discipline to do them as daily practice. HOW we do depends on attitude.
There is also the aspect of routine which carries us through a dark period like a beacon precisely because of its repetitive nature. All the various diciplines encourage us to develop a routine that will lead us to the flow of creative inspiration--working in a selected space, doing the warmups, putting in the time (however short or seemingly fruitless) and closing with hints for the next days practice...a new starting point built on this days work. Every day.
Routine and discipline walk hand in hand, like little schoolchildren-- either controlled and bored, fearful of punishment or smiling and skipping ready to discover the days new lessons. Boring or exciting--same energy, different approach. Shrieks of delight, furrowed brows, deep sighs--it's all part of the show.